tech2 News StaffMar 02, 2017 08:56:50 IST
US President Donald Trump's top spymaster nominee has said he was "shocked" to know that India successfully launched over 100 satellites in one go, asserting that America cannot afford to be seen lagging behind. "I was shocked the other day to read that India, on one rocket launch, deposited more than 100 satellites in space," former Senator Dan Coats told lawmakers yesterday during his confirmation hearing for the position of Director of National Intelligence.
He said the US cannot afford to be seen lagging behind. "They may be small in size with different functions and so forth but one rocket can send up, I think it was 104 platforms," said Coats, who if confirmed would be in-charge of all major American intelligence agencies including the CIA. Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) on February 15 successfully launched a record 104 satellites on a single rocket from the Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh.
Out of the 104 satellites on board, 88 were from a US based company known as Planet Labs. The satellites piggybacked on the PSLV-C37 mission, on which the main payload was the CartoSat-2D. Isro's cheap satellite launches are a threat to private US spaceflight companies, who support regulations in place that prevent US companies from using Indian rockets to launch satellites. Since there is currently a dearth of launch vehicles capable of putting satellites into orbit at the same rate as the private sector makes them, US gives waivers to companies on an individual basis to allow them to use Isro rockets.
With inputs from PTI
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